Cocktail lovers of Leith can, once again, escape the bustle of the festival and enjoy £5 creations from local bars.

After a successful launch last year, Chill Fest Leith is back for 2019, offering festival-goers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh during one of the busiest months in the city.

Bigger than last year, the festival will see 18 bars from around Leith create signature cocktails, which will be available to buy for £5.

Offering a more relaxed alternative to the frenzy of the Fringe, Chill Fest Leith will encourage both locals and visitors alike to leave the city centre and embrace a more laid-back lifestyle by The Shore.

When it it?

Sponsored by Kinrara Gin and Central Taxis and organised by the team behind the Boda Bar Group, Chill Fest Leith is launching on August 1 and will run until 31 August, and is set to celebrate Leith’s thriving bar scene.

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural Chill Fest (and a festive version – Yule Fest), this year’s festival features both old favourites and brand-new bars, each shaking up their own signature cocktail.

What bars are taking part?

Bars including Sofi’s, The Lioness of Leith and Roseleaf will be returning to Chill Fest for 2019, and will be joined by some exciting new additions such as Nauticus, Brass Monkey, Harmonium and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

With lots of delicious drinks to choose from, there’s a tipple to suit everyone – from the sweet berry flavours of The Barologist’s ‘Velvet Skies’ to The Granary’s refreshing citrus concoction, ‘Sunshine on the Shore’.

How does it work?

Chill Fest Leith 2019

Picture: Rhubarbie Martini by Victoria

Visitors purchase a Chill Fest wristband from the festival website, which is valid for the whole month.

Wristbands cost £5, and profits will be donated to local Leith charity, The Junction, which supports the health and wellbeing of young people in North Edinburgh.

Then all festival-goers need to do is show their wristband at participating Leith bars to enjoy each venue’s exciting signature cocktail for just £5.

Chill Fest visitors can enjoy a cocktail crawl around the neighbourhood, popping in to sample their favourite tipples as many times as they like throughout the month.

Festival-goers can also look out for masterclasses and events from top drinks brands, including Oro Gin, at Chill Fest partner bars throughout the month.

Luke Fenton from Kinrara Gin comments: “We’re so excited to be working with Chill Fest and the fantastic local pubs and bars in Leith this summer. Being based in the Highlands, we fully appreciate the need for great surroundings and great company, as well as the time to chill and remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle.

“We look forward to seeing a wide range of exciting cocktails, some made with our Highland Dry and Hibiscus Gins, shaken up by the best bar teams Edinburgh has to offer.”

Kyle Jamieson, co-owner of Nauticus says: “As a bar that’s focused very much on local Scottish produce, we’re delighted to be taking part in Chill Fest, a celebration of the amazing, unique community we have here in Leith. We can’t wait for visitors to try our signature G’n’Tea cocktail, and we’ll definitely be sampling the tipples from our neighbouring bars too.”

Tony Kenmuir, Central Taxis chairman adds: “Having sponsored Yule Fest last winter, we’re delighted to be working with the team again on this year’s Chill Fest. After enjoying a night sampling the Chill Fest signature cocktails away from the festival crowds, visitors can hop in a Central Taxi to get home quickly and safely or head into town to carry on the fun!”

Vicki Watson, fundraiser at The Junction comments: “We are really excited to have been chosen to benefit as this year’s charity for Chill Fest Leith. The Junction is a local initiative helping to support young people aged 12 – 21, in Leith and North East Edinburgh.

“Funds raised through Chill Fest will help us to continue to offer vital services, helping young people learn to help themselves and reach their full potential, which in turn has a positive effect on our community.”

Bars and cocktails to look out for

Joseph Pearce: Rosehip Sour

Roseleaf: Pearfect Lily

The Granary: Sunshine on the Shore

The Windsor: Candied Meander and Pink Polar Bear

Victoria: Rhubarbie Martini

Teuchters Landing: Rusty Nail

Sofi’s: Before 8 and After 8

The Barologist: Velvet Skies

The Lioness of Leith: Shore Leave

Tapa: Raspberry Ripple Mango and Peach Margarita

Toast: Sunshine on Leith

Finn & Bear: Escubarb Fizz

Brass Monkey: Back Alley Mojito

Nauticus: G’n’Tea

Harmonium: Pineapple & Jalapeno Margarita

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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